Decades-long July 4th tradition in Reedley goes dark this year

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The Reedley Spectacular Fireworks Show has been a July 4 tradition for the city for more than 60 years. (KFSN)

The bright lights of the Reedley Spectacular Fireworks Show are going dark this year after being a tradition for the city for more than 60 years.

"Since usually it's later on in the evening, we just go find a good spot bring some snacks," Gema Sandoval of Reedley said.

Sandoval, 14, says the family fun has turned into a family tradition she and her brother look forward to every summer, but it's something she won't be able to pass on to her 8-month-old sister.

"It's sad that some more generations aren't going to get to enjoy the show," she said.

For the first time since the show's inception in 1951, the vibrant display at the sports park will go dark.

"The city is disappointed," Reedley city manager Nicole Zieba said. "We know that this is our community event."

The event celebrates our nation's independence and is put on annually by a committee of volunteers that over the years has dwindled down to just 4.

Zieba says they were approached to carry on the tradition but couldn't because it wasn't factored into this year's budget.

"For the last couple of years, we've known that the private organization has been struggling with fundraising and with organizing a show that big," she said.

She attributes the cancellation to what she calls the perfect storm of events.

"We're in a terrible drought, insurance costs that have gone up and permit fees that have gone up," Zieba explained. "The fireworks alone are roughly $20,000."

Add the cost of insurance, security, parking and staff costs range from $25,000 to $40,000.

City officials add they hope to work with groups in the future to bring the show back.

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societyjuly 4thfireworksfresno countyReedley
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